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New-look Grand Vitara not for Australia

Urban-look: Britain's 2010 Grand Vitara swaps its spare wheel for a can of tyre goo.

Suzuki kills the Grand Vitara’s rear-mounted spare wheel for Europe – but not Oz

2 Jul 2010

SUZUKI Australia has confirmed it will not introduce a version of the Grand Vitara released this week in Europe that does away with its trademark tailgate-mounted spare wheel to give the popular compact SUV a “more urban look”.

Announced in the UK yesterday, Europe’s new-look Grand Vitara is 200mm shorter overall because it features “a cleaner and more sophisticated bodyline at the rear without the door mounted spare wheel”, which is replaced by a tyre repair kit comprising sealant and a compressor.

Suzuki GB PLC stresses that despite losing their spare wheel and tyre, the new-look three and five-door Grand Vitara models retain full off-road capability by being one of the few compact 4x4s to include feature electronically switchable high and low-range gear ratios and a differential lock as standard equipment.

However, local Suzuki spokesman Andrew Ellis said Australia’s Grand Vitara will not lose its spare wheel any time soon.

30 center imageLeft: Australia's Grand Vitara.

“All our market research shows Grand Vitara owners in Australia want a spare wheel, so for the foreseeable future the change is not relevant to us,” said Mr Ellis.

Also fitted as part of the European Grand Vitara update is a more efficient Euro 5 emissions-compatible 1.9 DDiS turbo-diesel engine, which lowers average CO2 emissions from 185 grams per kilometre to 179g/km.

The cleaner-burning diesel engine is not yet slated for release in Australia’s Grand Vitara, which in August 2008 received its first significant makeover since it arrived here in third-generation guise in 2005.

Now almost two years old, the faclifted Grand Vitara included a new 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to replace both 1.6 and 2.0-litre units and a new 3.2-litre V6 that replaced the 2.7-litre V6, as well as standard electronic stability control and front and rear side airbags across the range.

Last week Suzuki Australia recalled more than 1500 examples of the 2005-2007 Grand Vitara 1.6-litre and 2.7-litre models to fix a potentially defective power steering pump belt tensioner – a problem that also affected the Jimny.

It has now confirmed that a recall announced this week in the US for its all-new Kizashi medium sedan does not affect Australia.

North America’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says it has recalled 5107 examples of the Kizashi in the US because the lower glovebox door can pop open during an accident, potentially injuring the front seat passenger.

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